Monday, September 21, 2015

Navigating Energy Levels

I forgot how difficult this is to do.

When I was seventeen, I was a very busy seventeen-year-old. I had a lot on my plate and I loved being busy. When I got sick, it was very difficult first to accept that I simply did not have the energy to stay busy and second to learn when to recognize when my energy was waning to dangerously low levels. 

It took a lot of experimentation and a lot of tears for it to sink it - I really could not take on everything like I used to. I had to constantly weigh my energy level, determine how much I had left, and decide whether or not doing something was really worth it if it meant paying a heavy price later (usually in the form of lots of sleep). 

I'm currently facing that stage of my illness again. I have the maturity and the experience to recognize when I'm pushing it, but it's still not easy.

I started a new job about a month ago.  It's a really great job - kind of the dream job - this is the job I got my master's degree for.  I'm a children's librarian at a great library.  Children's librarianing is so much fun, but it takes a lot of energy.  Today, I did storytime.  The program was about 30 minutes long, including the time when the kids were let loose at the craft I planned.  But when it was finished, I was exhausted.  I stayed at work for a few hours after, but left because I was so tired I was starting to bump in to things.

My new boss is wonderful and supportive.  She keeps telling me to not worry about it when I can't do things, but I'm still so frustrated.  I love this job, and I just want to be able to do it.  I can't help but feel like I'm failing to live up to my promises and my potential - I applied for, interviewed for, and accepted the job with the intention of doing it to the best of my ability.  I am doing that, but I expected it to be the best of my healthy ability.  I just... I hate being limited.

Yesterday, I went to the state fair with some friends.  One of them was in town for the weekend; I hadn't seen her for ages, so this outing was definitely a priority for me.  I was there for about 2 hours (the first 45 min of which were actually spend just standing/sitting around waiting for everyone to show up).  I pushed myself as long as I could and then had to bail.  I kind of felt like we had just gotten there, but I was completely out of energy.  I spent the rest of the day drifting in and out of sleep, went to bed early, slept all night.

My condo is a mess, and I hate it.  I haven't had the energy to even think about cleaning it for weeks.  Fiance is busy and stressed - he just went back to school, and he's doing important work supporting me while I feel like shit.  Cleaning the place would be nice, but it's not in the list of top 3 things that need to get done, so it's not happening.

I have tomorrow off work.  I have plans to get lunch with a friend, and visit my old coworkers.  I'm really hoping to have enough energy to go grocery shopping after that, but I'm not necessarily counting on it.

It's kind of impossible to explain how frustrating this is.  If you've never been chronically ill, you have no idea how it feels to wish you had enough energy to just get through a normal day like a normal person.

"Spoonie" is a term I recently discovered on tumblr. It's a term that originated with this post by Christine Miserandino. It's very much worth reading, and I may refer to it the future.  Her story/theory is very relatable.  The last two days, I've hit the point where I say to myself, "yep, I am out of spoons for the day."  It's a convenient way of thinking about things.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad we got to see each other for the time we did. It was short, but I had fun. Take care of yourself and I'll see you again next time I'm in town. Love ya!